EDUCATION

The sign outside St. Joseph Central High School in Pittsfield.
Adam Frenier / NEPR

After holding classes 120 years, Berkshire County's lone Catholic high school, St. Joseph Central of Pittsfield, closed its doors last week.

The school's closure was announced last fall amid sagging enrollment. And as the process has begun to clean out the building, students and staff members have largely moved on.

An online petition urged the school committee to change the mascot of Turners Falls High School.
Screen shot / Change.org

Massachusetts Senate President Stan Rosenberg said he opposes a ban on Native American mascots in public schools. A bill proposed in the legislature would do just that. Rosenberg was asked about the proposal during an interview on WGBH radio.

"It should be a matter of local decision," Rosenberg said. "One of my communities just went through this debate and it is really about local standard."

Mass. AG Investigates Incidents At Easthampton High

May 25, 2017
A person wearing a Confederate flag jacket, outside Easthampton High School on May 3, 2017.
Submitted Photo / NEPR

The school superintendent in Easthampton said disciplinary action has been taken against a student who allegedly bullied others through social media.

This comes as Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey investigates incidents at Easthampton High School.

Earlier this month, the School Committee voted to ban students from wearing the Confederate flag.

Later, a student posted on Instagram the words "Make Easthampton Great Again" with photo-shopped images of students and the principal holding guns in front of a Confederate flag.

Holyoke Teens Develop Anti-Bullying App

May 18, 2017
Girls Inc. Holyoke participated in Technovation Challenge. Pictured (left to right): Stella Cabrera, Crystalee Mendez, Meghan Bone (staff) and Jaylynn Rentas.
Sean Teehan / NEPR

Inside a stuffy second-story conference room in Holyoke’s innovation district, a small group of developers spent about three months creating a mobile app meant to combat bullying.

But they're not employees at a hot new tech startup. They’re teenage girls from Holyoke tasked with building an app that addresses an issue in their community.

A sign against the "Indians" mascot.
Phil Demers / Masslive

The Gill-Montague Massachusetts school committee has a new line-up following an election Monday that also addressed a controversial sports mascot.

In more than a two-to-one margin, voters in Montague supported keeping the "Indians" as the Turners Falls High School mascot.

The referendum was non-binding, however. It does not change the school committee's previous vote to eliminate the mascot, which has been called offensive by many Native Americans.

Governor Baker gets an update on the Springfield Empowerment Zone at Forest Park Middle School.
Alden Bourne / NEPR

Governor Charlie Baker was in Springfield to hear the latest on the Springfield "Empowerment Zone, which consists of six middle schools and a high school.

In an "Empowerment Zone," principals and teachers have broad autonomy over everything from the curriculum to the budget. The results after the first year were mixed, with some test results up and some down.

A person wearing a Confederate flag jacket, outside Easthampton High School on May 3, 2017.
Submitted Photo / NEPR

Can a school prevent students from wearing the Confederate flag? The school committee in Easthampton, Massachusetts, did just that this week, raising questions about the rights of students and responsibilities of educators.

A person attaches a Confederate flag to a truck in this photo, which a parent said was snapped outside Easthampton High School on April 24, 2017.
Submitted Photo / MassLive

The Easthampton School Committee will decide Tuesday night whether to continue a temporary ban  that prohibits students from wearing clothing with a symbol of the confederate flag to school.

An online petition urged the school committee to change the mascot of Turners Falls High School.
Screen shot / Change.org

Even though the Gill-Montague school committee in western Massachusetts voted in February to get rid of a controversial sports mascot, some voters will get their say this month.

The Indians have represented Turners Falls High school for decades. After several public forums, the regional school committee sided with mascot critics, who say it's disrespectful to Native Americans.

In November 2016, Damien Johnson was one of several people who painted a solvent on rocks atop Mount Tom to get rid of racist, anti-Semitic and homophobic messages.
Nancy Eve Cohen / NEPR

Anti-Semitic incidents in the United States increased by more than a third in 2016 over the year before, according to an annual audit from the Anti--Defamation League. The jump was especially steep in Massachusetts, with a 150 percent increase.

Compared to other states, Massachusetts had the fifth highest number of anti-Semitic incidents last year, with a total of 125 episodes -- topped by only California, New Jersey, New York and Florida.

Pages